Robbie and I used to be fun people. Everyone wanted to hang out with us, because we were always down for whatever, any time of day or night. We would go out at 10 p.m. to meet friends at a bar or a pool hall because we could sleep in the next day or catch a nap after our shift was over.
Please note that I used the word “shift” because during that out-all-night phase of our life we had jobs that required shift work. I feel like this is important to remember when I start to reminisce about how much fun we used to be. While yes, we were able to sleep until 11 a.m., we also worked at a grocery store. We may have driven to New Orleans at 2 a.m. and stayed until the sun came up, or gone wakeboarding in the middle of the week, but we didn’t have health insurance — or good sense, for that matter.
We eventually grew up, became parents, and secured various types of insurance. Now, instead of heading out to hear a local band and drink $2 beer, I’m in recovery for alcoholism and my husband’s idea of a good time is to binge watch TV and eat Lucky Charms out of a mixing bowl. Which, I have to admit, is a damn good way to spend a Saturday night. Streaming shows from the comfort of our cozy living room is where it’s at.
Gone are the days of stepping over other people in a crowded movie theater when I have to pee; now, we pause the show with the touch of a button if we need a soda refill or a bathroom break. We’ve traded overpriced theater snacks for family-size containers of chocolate pudding or Doritos bought in bulk. (We tell ourselves it’s for the kids, but we both know that’s a lie.)
I’d like to say that we take turns selecting what we watch, but that’s not how it goes down over here. First, we banter back and forth about what we’ve heard is good, which is almost always fruitless because what the people on his Facebook feed are recommending almost never matches up to what the people I know suggest. If by some chance we have both heard that a particular series is binge-worthy, the discussion is over and the decision is clearly made. This is what is known as a modern miracle.
Here are some of the (non-miraculous) factors that play into how the two of us agree on what to binge on after the kids go to bed:
Have I been unnecessarily mean or rude to Robbie lately? If so, I feel the need to make it up to him via one of his major love languages: control of the TV remote. This usually means that I get stuck watching the weirdest, most violent, disturbing content the Internet has to offer, which is a great incentive for me to keep my b*tchiness at a reasonable level.
2. Horniness (His)
If he’s looking to get laid, he’ll let me pick the show and also eat most of the snacks. If he’s really lucky, we’ll have multiple seasons to watch.
3. Horniness (Mine)
If I’m ovulating, I want to see shirtless, tanned, hunks of man meat. Think pirates, criminals, and gladiators. He generally goes along with this, because muscled, grimy men are almost always also violent, terrible people. All of that testosterone has to go somewhere, right? Right. It’s the perfect arrangement.
4. Our (Collective) Mental State
If we’ve both had a rough week emotionally, then we can’t handle drama or sadness — we’ve got enough of our own, thank you very much. This is when we’ll decide to watch something mindlessly funny. Conversely, if it’s been a good week, we can totally handle a little cannibalism. Sometimes, I might feel a little bit like I want to watch people get blown up. It’s all about balance.
5. Need for Variety
We never binge watch back-to-back within the same genre. Clearly, we have invested a lot of time and effort into getting this down to a science, and yes, it’s been totally worth it.
At the end of the day, it’s all about compromise, willingness to bend, and wanting to see the other person happy. But, if all else fails, the unhappy party can always bury her face in her Smartphone. At least we’ll be together.